CHICAGO (CBS) – While Chicago Public Schools plan to open on time, city officials will be keeping a close eye on Springfield.
Chicago Public Schools has unveiled its fiscal plan for 2018, but it’s counting on uncertain funding from the state.
And the defiant Chicago Public Schools CEO is apparently frustrated with reporters’ questions about a fiscal bombshell.
That bombshell: another shock for Chicago taxpayers – Chicago Public Schools revealing it is $269-million in the hole for the next year. And it could mean higher taxes.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez took a closer look at the numbers.
“CPS schools will open on time this year and they will stay open during the school year,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool.
That is the good news, but the bad news is the school system is not sure where the money will come from.
The $5.7 billion budget is counting on $300 million in additional funding from the state, but that only happens if Springfield okays an educational funding bill.
“We’re not going to let the state off the hook for their constitutional responsibility to fund schools,” he said.
The problem is, Governor Bruce Rauner is blocking special money for Chicago schools and that is not the only hurdle CPS is facing.
Claypool also dropped this bomb: his budget relies on $269 million in new funding from the City of Chicago.
“Our first order of business is to pass Senate Bill 1,” Claypool said.
“And as the Mayor said yesterday, we are not in a position to talk about local resources or local options until Springfield has lived up to its responsibility to fund schools and appropriate funds for schools…Springfield will eventually have an education budget. I believe that, but we’re prepared for what’s necessary to keep our schools open on time and stay open.”
Translation: Taxpayers would likely be on the hook for any shortfall and with both city population and CPS enrollment declining again this year, the tax base is dwindling.
“We obviously have to make adjustments and we will make adjustments over time,” Claypool said.
And that could of course mean more layoffs.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis responded to the budget outline saying, “this entire ordeal reinforces the need for an elected school board and educators to lead CPS instead of bean counters who still can’t count beans.”
The budget is expected to be voted on Aug. 28.